Nothing announces spring with as much color and life as the early blooms of crocus, the brilliant trumpets of daffodils and the elegance of tulips. Spring-flowering bulbs of all kinds are an important part of maintaining year-round color in any garden, and now is the season to begin or expand your plantings.
PLANNING THE BULB DISPLAY
It’s important to check the different blooming times of bulbs.. Tulips, for instance, can be broken into as many as five or six periods periods ranging over several months.
Mixing purple giant crocus and whitemid-season tulips for instance, and then expecting them to bloom together can be disappointing. On the other hand, mixing early and late varieties in your plan greatly extends your blooming season.
Besides keeping shorter growing kinds in front, avoid mixing plants with extremely different heights to maintain a balanced look. Also very tall varieties should be avoided in windy areas to prevent damage to the blooms and stems.
Another consideration in planning is the possibility of damage by rodents. Moles and ground squirrels (chipmunks) love to discover a bed of tulips and can virtually destroy your display before you get to enjoy it. Daffodils, on the other hand, are poisonous to rodents and will not be bothered. If your location is likely to attract these underground feeders, either protect the bulbs in baskets or stick with the variety’s they won’t eat.
A final thought on planning bulb displays is maintenance!
Tulips must be dug up and separated at least once every several years or they will decline and produce fewer and fewer flowers.. Daffodils can continue to multiply and produce excellent displays without being replanted. This feature makes daffodils and narcissi popular for naturalizing. Another maintenance note is that the bulbs draw their nutrients for the following year largely from the dying foliage, which, must be left in place until it completely withers. This is an especially important factor in rotating mass plantings.
Lawn furniture is getting put away (slowly), snow blowers are being pulled out from the sheds and sent away for a quick tune up. People ask me, “Joe…what can you possibly be landscaping in the fall?”
Truth be told, we are busy planting lawns, installing colorful hardy mums and getting our Spring bulbs into inventory for November/December planting.
Yes…Fall Color / Spring Color.
Hardy mums offer great curb appeal to a home. They are bright, cheerful and continue to flower right through the first frost. They accent halloween decorations, they are the centerpiece of Thanksgiving decorations….simply said they are just beautiful!!!
And what am I doing with bulbs you ask? Well, we install bulbs in November/December…they get cooled off and roots out during the winter months, and sure enough they welcome the spring season with a beautiful array of spring color……
You know ……Tulips, Daffodils, Hyacinth, etc..
So just because the summer season has come to an end doesn’t mean your flowers and seasonal color has to also. Spruce up your landscape with hardy fall mums and a display of spring blooming bulbs. Trust me….you won’t regret it!
If you’re interested in attracting hummingbirds to your property without using a feeder, keep in mind that they visit plants with lots of blooms and nectar. Red flowers are helpful, but they aren’t a necessity. You might want to try planting some of the
se around your landscape:
Hummingbirds are a delight to watch, and common North American species can beat their wings up to 53 times per second!